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Bharat Bandh affects life in Odisha

The Bharat Bandh, called by the BJP, the Left and other Opposition parties, protesting the diesel price hike, FDI-in-retail and cap on LPG refills, passed off peacefully on Thursday.

Life was normal in most parts of western Odisha in spite of the Bharat bandh owing to Nuakhai festival. Political parties exempted the region due to the importance of the festival in that part of the state.

People in Bhubaneswar were forced to do a bit of a workout on Thursday as wheels stopped. Train services and public transport were the worst hit by the shutdown, which was supported by major non-Congress parties, including the BJP, CPI and CPI(M).

While Government offices were closed, commercial establishments remained shut for most part of the day. Liquor outlets were the only shops open throughout the day.

The bandh was incident-free, Director-General of Police Prakash Mishra said.

Bharat Bandh in Orissa
Work in the mines of Talcher and Keonjhar was affected, but the strike did not have an impact on the Rourkela Steel Plant, Nalco smelter in Angul and Paradip port.

The strike drew support from traders in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar. Traders at Malgodown, the largest wholesale market in the state, and Chhatrabazar, one of the biggest vegetable markets, joined the agitation under the banner of Odisha Byabasahi Mahasangha.

The BJP, which took out a motorcycle rally from its State unit office here, also staged road blockades at various places. The CPI also took out a rally and resorted to blockades. Over 100 activists of the Left party were arrested during the bandh which State secretary Dibakar Nayak said was spontaneous.

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